Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The nub

Sometimes people ask why I do what I do. Why do I write software nobody wants to use? Why do I care about the reliability and validity of psychometric data? Why do I want to make available assessment tools, which are accurate and meaningful, as well as cheap and easy to use?

I answer a question with a question. How is it, I say, that scientists such as Newton and Einstein were born at exactly the right time and in exactly the right place for their work to be understood, appreciated, tested, and applied?

The answer, I reply to myself, is that Newtons and Einsteins have been born in mud huts throughout the globe, throughout history; and they are still being born. The Newton we read about happened to the lucky one born in the right place at the right time, wealthy enough to receive an education and to study as a vocation, in a society disposed to listen, rather than ignore him, imprison him, or burn him at the stake. Einstein was also a lucky one, born at a time when his more esoteric theories could be put to the test and applied.

My mission is to dredge out the genius buried in the mud huts and slums of the world.

Why do I care? I care because I know it is there. I have seen children begging in the slums of India, with minds crying out to be heard.

I have another blog, which I use to express disdain for the society in which we live, so I shall refrain from raving on here. I shall simply suggest that every intelligent child lifted from the mire may contribute to lifting society itself from the mire, in later life.